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Litigation Unncecessary Says Waipareira Trust

8 December 2005

Litigation Unncecessary Says Te Whanau O Waipareira Trust Board

The Waipareira Trust Board says that the High Court Proceedings filed by John Tamihere and others are premature and unnecessary given its willingness to resolve the issue out of court.

Evelyn Taumaunu, Chairperson of Te Whanau of Waipareira Trust Board, said that the Trust’s lawyers had written to Mr Tamihere’s lawyers to try and reach an amicable solution in the best interests of Waipareira’s beneficiaries.

“Litigation is the worst way to resolve these issues between whanau members. We are confident in our position and admit no liability whatsoever, but we are happy to discuss the issues with Mr Tamihere in an effort to resolve his concerns for the benefit of all. We can’t do that in court. But if he insists on litigating and dealing with this matter in an adversarial manner, the Board has no choice but to defend itself.”

“We have offered to make no further appointments to the Board until the proceeding is finally determined, and will take no action that could prejudice the claimant’s right to be appointed to the Board if they are successful in the proceedings. We will offer such an undertaking to the Court if necessary”.

“Mr Tamihere has complained that I refused to meet with the Kaumatua Roopu, which is why he was forced to issue proceedings. I was previously unaware that the Chairman of Kaumatua Roopu wished to meet. The matter was raised before the Trust Board for the first time last night, and the Board was more than happy to resolve to meet with the Kaumatua Roopu on 13 December 2005 to discuss the issues as an inclusive group.”

“Basically, we are offering to preserve the status quo so that the issues can be resolved urgently, but in an inclusive, calm and rational way. Appointing Mr Tamihere and others to the Board on an interim basis, especially if it is by court order, will only serve to destabilise the Board and disrupt its business, if the court subsequently finds that Mr Tamihere was not validly elected.”

ENDS

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